In Broncos Country, there are two constants: 1) Orange sunsets. 2) An unrelenting, visceral dislike for former coach Josh McDaniels.
He's called Coach McHoodie, not to mention other disrespectful words far too unfit for print.
But, as young Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and promising Denver guard Zane Beadles trotted on the field Sunday for the Pro Bowl, an honest man would also have to call McDaniels something else:
McD is a major reason why veteran quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos have a legitimate shot at winning a Super Bowl during the next three years.
Maybe that explains why, on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I discovered at least one man who doesn't abhor McDaniels.
"I like him," Thomas said of McDaniels. "He gave me a chance in the NFL. He took me in the first round. And, if he didn't, I might not be where I am today, at the Pro Bowl."
No disrespect to Mike Shanahan or John Elway, the past and present architects of Broncos football, but for my money, the best Denver draft class of the past decade was put together in 2010 by McDaniels.
That's the year the team landed four quality NFL starters: Eric Decker, J.D. Walton, Beadles and Thomas. Oh, yeah. There was one other guy from that 2010 draft class you might have heard about: Tim Tebow.
Whether this was the top collection of rookie talent Denver has assembled in the past 10 years is, of course, open to debate. Elway loyalists might prefer his 2011 selections of linebacker Von Miller, safety Rahim Moore and offensive tackle Orlando Franklin. Shanahan did make an impressive haul of talent in 2006, when he grabbed quarterback Jay Cutler, receiver Brandon Marshall and pass rusher Elvis Dumervil.
Read more: Kiszla: It's time to thank Josh McDaniels for Broncos' 2010 draft - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_22463534/mark-kiszla-its-time-thank-josh-mcdaniels-broncos#ixzz2JI6BPBF9
It's time to thank Josh McDaniels for Broncos' 2010 draft
Denver Post | Jan 28